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New Hampshire 19, Obama 16, Pennsylvania 10, Craig 8, Paul Ryan 8, Washington 6, Msnbc 5, Libya 5, Us 4, Robert Traynham 4, Denver 4, Dante 4, Anne Kornblut 4, Citi 3, Bob 3, Sarah Palin 3, United Nations 3, John Kerry 3, Bush 3, Massachusetts 2,
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    September 29, 2012
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presidential debate, and three days until early in-person voting begins in the critical swing state of ohio. and the buckeye state is where we begin our political headlines this saturday. congressman paul ryan will be holding a rally in columbus in just a few hours from now. it's ryan's second event today. he was in new hampshire this morning, arguing that president obama can't be trusted to deal with the national debt and that mitt romney can. >> as a result of the president's advocation of leadership, as a result of seeing the most predictable economic crisis in our country's history and not fixing it, our credit rating was downgraded for the first time in our history. when mitt romney was governor, the credit rating of his state was upgraded. that's the kind of change that we'll get with a mitt romney presidency. >> governor scott walker, republican from wisconsin, is also in new hampshire today, stumping on behalf of the romney campaign. earlier today, he spoke at the state's gop convention.
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meanwhile, today, vice president joe biden is in florida. he wrapped up an event in ft. myers not long ago, where he said mitt romney and paul ryan will block any bipartisan attempts to reduce the debt. >> paul ryan even voted against the simpson/bowles plan he talked about now, as a member of the commission. it's important to know why. because they will not vote for a single solitary reduction in the debt if it includes one dollar in new taxes for millionaires. >> neither governor romney nor president obama have any public events scheduled today or tomorrow. they'll be spending a lot of the weekend prepping for that first debate, wednesday in denver. we'll have a whole lot more on all of these stories throughout the next three hours. president obama heading to las vegas tomorrow for a campaign rally. the president then expected to hunker down in henderson, nevada, to prepare for that first presidential debate. nbc news white house correspondent, mike viqueira, joining me live.
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now, mike, the president again, no public appearances today. earlier this week, he was at the united nations. he's been hitting the campaign trail hard. he's been dealing with the fallout from the libya attacks. is he finding enough time to even practice for the debates? >> well, you know, craig, to the extent that the command of the issues will make a difference in these debates, you can say he's getting a lot of on the job training, certainly. but to argue your premise a little bit, the president, as far as we know, is, in fact, practicing for those debates. just yesterday, he spent two hours south of the capital, about a mile from here, the democratic national committee headquarters, where we are told, on deep background, that he was, in fact, practicing on those debates. of course, the person who is the mock mitt romney, if you will, john kerry, senator john kerry of massachusetts, he also battle tested. he had his own experience in these debates in 2004. people forget he had a series of epic debates debating a
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republican governor of massachusetts who challenged him for his senate seat back in 1996. that was bill welles. so it's going to be intense, and as you mentioned, he leaves tomorrow, has one event on the ground when he leaves for nevada. then he goes to ground, training at altitude, because the debate is in the mile-high city of denver. but we don't expect to see much of him. he's going to be doing a lot of practicing for that debate wednesday night. >> this is president obama's first debate since 2008. governor romney had what seemed like 163 primary debates earlier this year. how confident are the president's advisers that he's not a tad rusty? >> reporter: you know, i think that that's something, a story line that they would like to promote. what we've seen, it's almost comica comical, to the extent we've seen both camps downplayings the expectations. so much of life is expectations, so much of a political debate like this. one of the president's advisers the other day talking about, you know, the president's so
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loquacious. he's got to keep his answers tighter. and by turns, mitt romney's camp talking about the president's gifted oratorical skills. so they both can't be right, but i think both sides are relatively confident going into this. >> to hear both of them tell it, the other guy is the best debater since abe lincoln himself. mike viqueira, thank you so much. appreciate your time, sir. there are, of course, great expectations on both sides for next week's debate. the pressure is really on for mitt romney to knock it out of the park, as he entrance the debate, trailing in nine of the key battleground states that will most likely decide this thing. joining me now, anne kornblut, deputy national editor for "the washington post," and beth thoout of the associated press. thanks to both of you ladies for being with me on this saturday afternoon. anne, let me start with you. politico had a headline about 24 hours ago who had a lot of folks talking. here it is. "in the end, it's mitt." to quote part of the article,
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"it isn't the chair or the ho-hum convention or the leaked video or stuart stevens or the improving economy or media bias or distorted polls or the message or mormonism, it's mitt." what does mitt romney have to do in this first debate to change the narrative that he is, in fact, a flawed candidate? >> i think it's sort of stating the obvious. in every campaign where there are problems, be it staff problems, be it message problems, there's always a lot of criticism that goes around it. ultimately, the candidate is responsible and it all comes from the top. so i think to conclude that mitt romney is responsible for whatever problems he had is probably an easy conclusion to have to make. obviously, in the debates, he's going to have to perform well, he's going to have to perform succinctly, and we've seen him do that in the past, as you have been discussing. he has been able to go on -- all throughout the republican primaries, he was able to at moments when expectations for him were extremely low, go in and surpass them. and if he keeps his cool and he knows his stuff, i think he'll probably be able to do that on
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wednesday. >> who has the most to lose, beth? who has the most to lose, president obama or governor romney? >> certainly governor romney. the president ea's ahead. he's a good debater. this whole setting expectations by his team is very silly. he hasn't debated in a campaign recently, he's debated plenty. he knows hows to keep his cool on a national stage. the governor needs to turn the expectations around, and that's the problem he's having right now. he's got a lot of people saying, the debate's really going to change everything for him. it's his last chance. donors are going to go away if he doesn't do well. he's going to lose the support of establishment republicans who will start giving their money to senate candidates instead. it's a tremendous amount of pressure. so he's really got the expectations game that he's got to fulfill, and we'll see how he does. >> anne, this praise of mitt romney about an anecdote of being abandoned on a boat his hi
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grandkids. take a look and take a listen. >> i said, who's going to grab the rope? and i looked up, and there was mitt romney. so he pull ed me in, tied up th boat for me, he rescued me just as he's going to rescue this great country. >> is it part of the governor's problem that even his friends can't make him seem like a likable guy, who would appeal to the average american. someone without a boat, without a lake house? >> well, yeah. >> how does he endear himself to john q. sixpack in denver. >> he was able to do it during don vengs. we heard some incredibly compelling story. not all of them were in prime-time. some of them were in the earlier hours when fewer people were watching. but by so many accounts, he's been a caring member, a caring member of the church, a frugal person, despite all of his wealth. he's not particularly comfortable talking about himself, and it may be the case, as with the clip you just
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played, some of his closest friends aren't the most, how do we say, down-to-earth surrogates for him, but those exist. and it remains a mystery why the campaign hasn't been able to do a better job of focusing on those to detract attention away from the rest. >> peggy noonan who's been fairly critical of the romney campaign, in a recent article, she argues that the media is rooting for mitt romney to do well in these debates. she goes on to say that people think mr. romney's rich, doesn't understand regular people's lives, not sure he can turn things around. he has to prove that he's a pair of safe hands. if romney hasn't been able to do that so far, how can he lay the ground work for it now? >> look, he's got a huge audience. a number of these people have not seen him to the extent that all of us have seen him. >> and an unfiltered audience. there's no filter between the two now. >> yeah, definitely it's an opportunity for him. it's going to be hard. we donate ha't have a lot of ti left. a narrative has been set.
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these swing states have seen a ton of advertising from the obama campaign, casting hip as a very rich, out of touch guy. and i've got to tell you, it's working. i was in new hampshire yesterday. i was in a very economically depressed part of the state, and those voters, they have a very strong impression of mitt romney. they do see him as somebody who is not an advocate of the middle class. somebody who's a little too rich to understand their problems. they have gotten that message. and it's going to be a really tough slog for him to turn it around. but a debate gives him that chance. >> anne kornblut, some are arguing that governor romney desperately needs to go big in these debates and go after the president, specifically on foreign policy. governor romney hit the president on the response to the consulate attack in libya on his weekly podcast. take a listen. >> we've seen a confused, slow, and inconsistent response to the terrorist attack in libya. a refusal to be frank with the american people about what happened, and a complete failure to explain the growing terrorist threat we face in the region. >> is that the winning line of attack there? >> well, certainly going after the president on what has been
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one of his strengths in recent years would be one way of going big. foreign policy doesn't tend to be one of the top issues for many voters, even after 9/11, so it won't necessarily help him on the economic front. so i don't know how much it would ultimately yield him, but he's been very tough on president obama on foreign policy, hearing him say, again, something along the lines of what you just plays wouldn't surprise me a bit. >> beth fouhy, thank you so much, and anne kornblut, always a pleasure, and so much so, we'll see you a little bit later this hour, right? >> yes. >> thank you. inking the deal. nfl refs are voted today the result of that vote, on the other side of this break. and a little bit later, the day wall street and capitol hill collided. we'll look back at when the dow took a 700-point dive. that's ahead in our flashback. first, though, with the lead in the polls, can president obama cruise until election day? what might trip up the incumbent, next. this is msnbc, the place for
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♪ sleep train ♪ your ticket to a better night's sleep ♪ there's new pressure on the obama white house to explain the conflicting reports over the deadly attack on the u.s. consulate in libya. and now the republican chair of the house homeland security committee is calling on the u.n. ambassador to the united nations, susan rice, to resign for initially calling the attack, quote, spontaneous and not premeditated. >> she could have said it's uncertain as to exactly how it was done, it's unsure how it was done. but to rule out terrorism saying it was not a terrorist, that was wrong. she misled the people, either if it was unintentionally or done
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out of ignorance. in either case, she would do the right thing and step down and resign. >> yesterday the spokesman for the national intelligence director issued a statement saying they, "revised our initial assessment to reflect new information indicating that it was a deliberate and organized terrorist attack carried out extremists." brent colburn is the national communications director for the obama campaign. brent, good saturday to you. >> thanks for having me, craig. >> "the new york times" today has a piece. the piece is called "shifting reports on libya killings may cost obama." how concerned are you at this point about the way the white house has explained the attack on the embassy? >> sure. well, look, the number one concern of the white house, the president and the secretary of state is getting to the bottom of these attacks. as we said from day one, our priority is finding out who perpetrated these attacks, making sure that they are brought to justice, and making sure that we are honoring the lives of the four americans who gave their lives in this attack. that being said, these are very
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complicated situations. anyone who's worked in the foreign policy or security space before knows that facts come to light over time, as these investigations play out. so i think that we need to take the long view of this and really see how this comes together, before we start jumping to political conclusions, like the other sides are doing. >> if the white house was so concerned about getting to the bottom of it, then why not wait before drawing the conclusion that the attacks were spontaneous? >> sure. well, look, there's a responsibility that the white house has to make sure we're sharing information with lawmakers. as we dig into a situation more and as we get more information from on the ground, and our intelligence sources, we're going to be able to revise and really fill out what that picture looks like. but we have the full faith in our staff at the state department, full faith in our staff at the united nations, that they're going to keep working hard to make sure we get to the bottom of this and make sure that the perpetrators are brought to justice. >> let's switch to the campaign trail here for a moment, both president obama and mitt romney
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this week pointed out how helpful an endorsement from former president clinton can be. in fact, politico has called it the clinton crutch. how much will president obama be relaying on the former president to sell his economic plan, specifically? >> sure. well, look, president obama is a fantastic advocate for president obama. he's got a unique perspective that he brings to this campaign. having been through some of the challenges with the economy that the president faces today during the 1990s, and having implemented very similar proposals in terms of investing in education and investing in infrastructure, responsibly bringing down the debt, so his is a voice that we think is a very powerful voice in helping to tell the president's story. we think he's going to be a great advocate for us. we're excited he's giving us that time and we're excited to have him out advocating for the president on the trail. >> brent, hypothetically, let's say the president is re-elected. what's his first order of business next year, is it immigration reform? is it climate change? what's going to be, jobs notwithstanding, because i know
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that's going to be the laser focus, presumably, besides job creation, then what? >> look, the second term, if we're lucky enough to win this campaign, really is an extension of all the work we've been doing through the first term. you said jobs, obviously. the economy is job one. we need to make sure we re-elect president obama, so we can build off the economic process we have started to see as we've turned this economy around. we need to move that forward, not go back to the policies that mitt romney is advocating that would actually hurt the economy and hurt middle class taxpayers. and there's a number of other things that we're going to be working on. we're going to continue to work on immigration reform. the president's taken some steps in the last few months. even with congress opposing him, that have allowed us to make some changes on how we handle immigration. we're going to work on that aggressively, look for partners from both sides of the aisle that are serious on making progress on these issues. but we'll continue to build off those successes in a second term. >> i'm sure you've seen this, the spoof from "saturday night live's" thursday edition this
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week about the high unemployment numbers. in case you didn't, take a look, take a listen. >> but things are getting better. remember that movie, "the sixth sense"? i'm like the kid in that movie. i see employed people. i know you don't see 'em. don't even know they're there. but one day all of you will be bruce willis and you'll realize that you were employed all along. >> hearing that we are going to get another round of unemployment numbers next week, what will we hear from the president in defense of his records on jobs? >> yeah, absolutely, obviously we're all big fans of "the sixth sense" great movie -- >> what about "snl"? >> huge fan of "snl." but we need to make a distinction between fact and fiction. the romney campaign has been out there peddling a lot of fiction out there about the progress that we've made and trying to
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make americans forget the hole we started in. the president will continue with his message, telling american people where we were. look, we lost 3.56 million jobs in the six months before he took office. we've now added over 5 million private sector jobs to the economy. at the same time, republicans, standing in the way of common sense solutions like the americans job act, that literally has left a million jobs on the table. these firefighters, these are cops, these are teachers. we look at this as telling our record on the economy. we're proud of the progress we've made. but we're going to be straight with the american people, that there's still work to do. >> brent colburn, we'll leave it there. appreciate your time this saturday. >> thanks, craig. playing to the granite state. paul ryan there today. why new hampshire is in play. first, though, the '90s called. they want their politics back. we'll tell you who's venturing back into the political arena. you are watching msnbc.
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one pro wrestler venturing back into politics. that tops our trail mix. former minnesota governor, wrestler, and predator, actor, jesse "the body" ventura has taped a message for a political action group. in that message, he calls for gary johnson to be included in the upcoming presidential debates. ventura, as you probably remember, won his office as an independent. >> isn't it time we allowed a credible third party candidate into our presidential debates, to tell obama and romney when they're both wrong? >> meanwhile, bob dole is talking about life after losing a presidential election. the republican pinned an article in "the washington post," saying that in washington, losing an election is viewed as, sort of like death. he went on to say, quote, sure, losing an election hurts, but i've experienced worst.
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and at an age where every day is precious, brooding over what might have been is self-defeating. and sarah palin says no to "dancing with the stars." why? well, the former vice presidential nominee calling herself a, quote, klutz. meanwhile, palin's daughter, bristol, is about to be on the show for a second time. up next, george zimmerman's attorney talking to a group of supporters. who are they? find out after the break. and closing arguments in september. what mitt romney and president obama have to say right now. this is a saturday afternoon and you are watching msnbc. the place for politics. i have a cold, and i took nyquil, but i'm still stubbed up. [ male announcer ] truth is, nyquil doesn't unstuff your nose. what? [ male announcer ] alka-seltzer plus liquid gels speeds relief to your worst cold symptoms plus has a decongestant for your stuffy nose. thanks. that's the cold truth!
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i'm craig melvin. here's a quick look at some of the top stories making news right now. after a long lockout and a triumphant return to the football field thursday, the nfl referees have now voted to
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approve a new eight-year deal. today's yes vote comes after three weeks of problems surrounding league-hired replacement refs. they are calling it carmageddon 2 in los angeles. traffic is expected to be snarled through the weekend, as a ten-mile stretch of 405 freeway is closed to rebuild that bridge there. george zimmerman's lawyer will reportedly speak to hundreds of gun rights activists this weekend. zimmerman shot and killed 17-year-old trayvon martin back in february. and former "new york times" publisher, arthur sulzberger has died. sulzberger's family bought "the times" back in 1896. he ran the paper for more than three decades. arthur sulzberger was 86 years old. a crowd like that around a post is something we have not seen in a very, very long time at the new york stock exchange. it's one of those elbows-only, push and shove situations.
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>> the chaos you saw there was from the floor of the new york stock exchange four years ago today. it came about an hour after the house of representatives voted against the wall street bailout. that vote, which was largely along party lines, sent the markets into a tailspin. our flashback comes from nbc "nightly news" that night. >> the stock market plunges, the worst single-day drop ever. tonight, we'll look at what's next. this has been a wild and harr harrowing and history-making day, and we still don't know how this ends. >> reporter: it was just after 1:30 east coast time when wall street and capitol hill collided. >> the bailout has failed. >> this is not -- >> about 600 points. >> reporter: while 60% of democrats voted for the package, 67% of house republicans voted no. a frustrated treasury secretary reiterated, a rescue package is vital to salvage the economy. >> we need it as soon as possible. and we're just committed to working with congressional
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leaders to get it done. >> the members who had been in a tougher re-election fight or are in one now, they voted no. anybody who hadn't been in a tough political fight in a long time, they voted yes. there is -- it was clearly a political vote for these guys. they know the election is coming in four weeks and they are very, very nervous about being for this thing. >> so wall street looks a whole lot different than it did four years ago. the stock market up, but what does that mean for the two men running for the oval office? coming up in our next hour, why president obama seems to be ahead, despite economic figures which indicate he should be way behind. here's what happened... i was talking to my best friend. i told her i wasn't feeling like myself... i had pain in my pelvic area... and bleeding that wasn't normal for me. she said i had to go to the doctor. turned out i had uterine cancer, a type of gynecologic cancer. i received treatment and we're confident i'll be fine. please listen to your body. if something doesn't feel right for two weeks or longer,
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the only detergent... ...tough enough for the nfl. because they're not just colors. they're everything. tide. trusted by all 32 teams. welcome back. now to our political war room, breaking down the strategy, going forward. we are now 38 days away from the first tuesday in november, but many are already casting ballots. this week, iowa became the first
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battleground state to start in-person, early voting. ohio voting starts tuesday. all told, 32 states plus washington, d.c., allow early voting. it is estimated that 40%, 40% of all votes will be cast before election day. joining me now to talk about what that means and a whole lot of other stuff, former pennsylvania governor, ed rendell, now an nbc news political analyst and robert traynam. good afternoon to both of you. governor, let me start with you. in the last week, both candidates have released ads where they're looking straight into the camera, stating their cases. it seemed to me, at least, that these might be closing ads. is that what we're seeing already? >> well, sure. the early voting's changed the whole tenor of campaigning. in the old days, 20, 30 years ago, governor romney would have had literally, out of the 39 days, he would have had close to
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39 days to turn it around. but now with a good chunk of the electorate, maybe a fifth or a fourth, he's got to move very, very quickly. it puts even greater pressure on the debate coming up this week. that's make or break for the romney campaign, no ifs, ands, or buts about it. i expect he'll do pretty well. he mopped the floor in those republican debates. that might not have been such a high bar, but still did very well. >> robert, let's talk about this early voting thing. do you think that one party has a built-in advantage when it comes to early voting over the other party? >> you know, that's an interesting question, craig, because eight years ago, i would have said that the republican party does a very good job of get out the vote, knocking on doors, calling people's cell phones and so forth, but truth be told, the obama campaign did a fairly good job of that in 2008. they really did change the map from a trajectory standpoint and really did even the playing field, if you will.
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i'm told that the republicans have said, never again will we be out-foxed on this. we will double our efforts. so it will be interesting to see, come 20, 30 days from now, who has the better ground game going into this election. >> governor, for the third time, the obama campaign has released an ad using only mitt romney's voice. take a look and listen. >> there are 47% of the people who will vote for the president no matter what. who are dependent upon government, who believe that they are victims. who believe the government has a responsibility to care for them. who believe that they're entitled. >> that strategy there seems less about touting the president's record and more about attacking governor romney's. what's your take on that? >> i think one thing the obama campaign has done extraordinarily well, is from june, from may, from may on, they have done a great job of defining governor romney. now, governor romney handed them a big gift-wrapped package with that florida speech that he made that was caught on tape.
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that's about as bad a look into someone saying things about the american people that's disastrous as i've ever seen in presidential politics. so they're continuing to pound it. it's a campaign tactic and there's no question about it. and it's interesting, in response to robert's point, i think the enthusiasm gap, which at the beginning of the year, the republicans have a huge gap that their voters were not as enthusiastic as republicans. recent polls are showing that now democrats are more enthusiastic about voting than republicans. >> you know, i'm glad -- governor, i'm glad you raised that point. do you think, when we look back on this race, when we started the armchair quarterbacking that first wednesday in november, are we going to look at the democratic national convention in charlotte, north carolina, as. the turning point for the party? or am i reading too much into that? >> i think that was a game change. not in necessarily changing votes, although it did somewhat, because there was a bounce before governor romney's stupid comments were revealed. but it certainly raised the
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enthusiasm level of rank-and-file democrats. i think it started with michelle obama's speech went off the charts with president clinton's speech. >> robert traynham, let's talk about this thing in denver this weekend. the first presidential debate. it will be the first opportunity that mitt romney has to reach an audience, unfiltered, tens of millions of people watching. what do you hope we're talking about thursday morning and what do you think we'll be talking about with regards to his debate performance? >> well, that's an interesting question, craig. i agree with the governor, that governor romney is a fairly good debater. look, at the end of the day, both president obama and governor romney are very, very smart individuals. they know exactly what they're talking about. they're comfortable in the policy space, so the question becomes on wednesday, what do we expect? well, i think we expect that this is probably going to be a duel, that both presidential candidates most likely will probably have a win in this, but the real question is whether or not those independent voters out there, craig, are going to say,
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you know what, i now look at governor romney a little bit differently. he appears to be in much more command of the issues, and more importantly, i like him, so thus in the process, i may vote for him. that's the question we should see on wednesday, hopefully. >> you mentioned independent voters, but the longer this thing drags on, governor, i would imagine, and again, this is based on just the polls that i've seen, it appears as if there are only about 28 undecided voters left in the united states of america. very small percentage. even if governor romney convinces 51% of these undecideds to support him, doesn't he also have to peel away votes from president obama to win this thing? >> well, sure. i think one of the fallacies about independent, undecided voters is that we don't look at the people who say they're for president obama or governor romney and look at the people who weren't very strongly committed to casting their votes, the people who we call in the business leaners. someone's leaning for obama, but
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when they're asked, are you absolutely certain you're going to vote for obama, no. but they're leaning to obama. those votes are up for grabs. just as the leaners romney are up for grabs. it's more than just the people who say they're undecided. those leaners can be persuaded by debate performance. and let me tell you, look at governor romney's performance last week in education nation, at our station, at the clinton global initiative, he sounded good, he talked policy, he was on his game. anybody who thinks this is going to be a walk-over for the president is wrong. governor romney is very strong. and he has the advantage, when he gets into this, he looks and sounds very presidential, no ifs, ands or buts about it. >> robert traynham, there came a point late in the race where republican supporters really thought the thing was over and they started pulling back, they started pulling money away from bob dole and they started investing it into those senate candidates. do you think this is something, do you think there's a chance we
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might see that this time around? that they say, you know what, our guy didn't have a shot this time, let's see if we can salvage the senate? >> it's possible. i think perhaps around halloween, a little bit before halloween, if, in fact, the numbers do not budge too, too much, there's a very good chance that members of the house and members of the senate and folks that want to be part of the senate will say, you know what guys in washington, we need to save our own behinds here. we can't think of the top of the ticket. but back in 2004, i remember this vividly, at 12:00 or 1:00 in the afternoon on election day in 2004, the exit polls showed that senator kerry was ahead of president bush. president bush was very much prepared to come out later on that evening and give his concession speech, and we all know what happened. >> governor, the latest nbc poll, the marist poll, "the wall street journal" poll shows the president ahead in pennsylvania by 12 points now. here mitt romney yesterday at a rally in pennsylvania. >> you know, i've got a little secret here, and that is that the obama campaign thinks that
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pennsylvania is in their pocket. they don't need to worry about it. [ audience booing ] and you're right and they're wrong. we're going to win pennsylvania, we're going to take the white house. >> governor, you know pennsylvania fairly well. do they have access to some internal polling that we don't have access to? >> no, but they might as well fly in pennsylvania. pennsylvania's in that group that are real long shots. look, i remember when i ran for governor against governor bob casey in the primary in 1986. i said the day before the election, we were going to win the state by five points, i lost by 12 points. candidates always say that. you know, you don't want to -- you want to charge up your supporters, for whatever reason, maybe they say -- >> yeah, but what was he even doing in pennsylvania yesterday? when i saw that clip, we've seen the polls, we know he's down by 12 points. was he raising money? >> he was raising money, he had four fund-raisers, and the state
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party said, well, you're here, you've got to do an event, you've got to help our legislative candidates, so they did an event. look, you'll know if their internal polls show anything, if they start spending money. >> gotcha, and that has nod happened. >> that has not happened. >> robert traynham, through july into august, as you mentioned there, most polls showed john kerry ahead. "newsweek" had him up by eight points, 52-44. what's it going to take for mitt romney to pull off what president bush did back in 2004. how does he do it? >> the folks that did not come out to vote in 2008, in other words, they were underwhelmed by the presidential ticket on the republican side, governor romney needs to overperform in those certain parts of the state. he needs to convince those individuals out there that he's a fighter for them, that he's a true conservative, and that he's going to bring conservative values to the ticket. or to the white house. that's the main reason why john mccain and sarah palin
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underperformed in a lot of those places. and also, a lot of folks out there, a lot of folks in my family included, said, you know what, with i like john mccain, but i'm just not sure about sarah palin. i just don't believe that she's qualified to be president. obviously, governor romney does not that have scenario these days, but he has to overperform in areas that mccain underperformed in. >> we love to point the finger and blame when political races are lost. if governor romney loses this thing, come wednesday morning, who do they blame? >> well, i've got to look in the mirror and blame themselves. one, the campaign was ill prepared from the beginning. believe it or not, they didn't have an answer to the tax question. they didn't have a good answer to the bain capital question. and governor romney made stumble after stumble and it pains me to say that, because when we were governors together, i liked him and he helped me form late pennsylvania's health care plan, but he's just -- his performance has been almost shock during this campaign. >> almost shocking.
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governor ed rendell, thank you so much, robert traynham, always a pleasure. appreciate you guys spending some of your saturday afternoon with us. let you get back to football. >> thanks, craig. vice presidential candidate paul ryan in the battleground state of new hampshire. today with our latest polls showing romney trailing there, is there something that the republican ticket can do to turn it around specifically in the granite state. this is something we like to do on the weekends, we dig deep into these specific states. we're going to go into new hampshire, next. copies of my acceptance speech. great! it's always good to have a backup plan, in case i get hit by a meteor. wow, your hair looks great. didn't realize they did photoshop here. hey, good call on those mugs. can't let 'em see what you're drinking. you know, i'm glad we're both running a nice, clean race. no need to get nasty. here's your "honk if you had an affair with taylor" yard sign. looks good. [ male announcer ] fedex office. now save 50% on banners.
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now for a little trail dust. this is probably something you may have missed from the campaign trail. this morning, congressman paul ryan made a stop in new hampshire. the other half of the republican ticket stayed on message with promises of rescuing the economy and creating jobs. >> we are not simply saying, hire us because the other guy is inadequate and failed. we want to earn this victory. we want to deserve this victory. because what we need, what we as
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a country need, is a mandate, and the moral authority to get us back on the right track and put the right inside in place to get people out of poverty, to get people out of living paycheck to paycheck. to get people back into jobs with higher take-home pay, so they have economic security, so we can get this economy growing, so we can restore the promise of the american dream for everybody. and that means ideas. we're offering very specific, bold ideas, that are what we need to do to fix the big problems in this country. >> that was paul ryan there this morning in new hampshire, speak of new hampshire. here's a reality check for the romney campaign. in all nine of the battleground state polls that nbc news, "the wall street journal," and marist have released, president obama is ahead. and we just showed you the fact was apparently not lost on paul ryan making that special visit to new hampshire today. dante scala is a professor of political science at the university of new hampshire, and
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"the washington post" deputy political editor, anne kornblut stuck around too. dante, you're on the ground there in the granite state. you're very familiar with that electorate. latest nbc news/marist poll, likely voters, president obama 51%, mitt romney 44%. what's the likelihood that the governor is able to close that gap between now and the first tuesday in november? >> i think it's going to take, craig, a national rebound for mitt romney to make it competitive here in new hampshire. there's no evidence that despite the fact that governor romney has campaigned in new hampshire off and on, really for most of the past decade, there's no evidence that he owns any kind of specific backyard advantage here in this new england state. his favorables to unfavorables are -- his unfavorables outweigh his favorables here in the
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state, which is striking given the amount of time he spent campaigning here. so new hampshire really is behaving the way it did four years ago, as a democratic-leaning bellwether state. and nothing romney has done has changed that. >> dante, let's look at some of the numbers. let's dig deep here into new hampshire. the unemployment rate here in the granite state, 5.7%. that's compared to a national rate of 8.1% on the conservative end. new hampshire boasting one of the highest median household incomes in this country, just over $61,000. given these numbers, what's driving granite state voters? what's driving them to turn out on november 6th? what are the issues most important to them? >> well, certainly the economy and jobs are important. even though new hampshire has weathered this great recession better than most, there certainly has been a lot of anxiety among those college educated professionals who live here, especially in the bedroom
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communities of the southern tier of the state. a lot of anxiety about their jobs, their future, about their children's future. the good news for president obama is, they look -- new hampshire voters look nationally, and they say, well, look, it appears as if the economy is turning around. not as fast as we would like, but enough to say, let's give the president four more years. the problem for romney, and vice presidential nominee ryan noted this, is that it's not just about a referendum about the president. because if that's the case, obama wins that in new hampshire, by a narrow margin. >> and medicare, of course, a huge factor across the country, or what the democrats have referred to as mediscare in some cases. in new hampshire, one in three residents is a baby boomer. does that give president obama a natural edge there? >> yeah, it's interesting. in a lot of states, and we've seen some polling out of other states that we've looked at this past week in "the washington post." and a lot of states especially where there are seniors or people who are going to be seniors and drawing on medicare
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soon, they are less favorable to a ryan-style plan that would eventually turn it into a voucher program, than other younger voters might be. and general people don't seem to favor changing the medicare program. it seems to be working, especially for people who have it now. but especially when you get to some of the older voters, it's just very interesting. and dante alluded to this. after all the time that romney has spent in the state and spent next door to the state, that he hasn't been able to gain anymore of an edge, even on an issue like medicare, where you would think that an electorate like new hampshire is very independent minded, very flinty, cares a great deal about the deficit and taxes, even there he hasn't gained any advantage, despite being associated with the ryan plan. >> dante, if governor romney comes out big wednesday, if there's some big, bold new policy introduced at the debate in denver, how does that play? >> it may give romney a second
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chance. i think romney really needs to have a clear victory next week to throw new hampshire back into the mix. i mean, certainly, there is still some volatility here. no one's saying it's over here in new hampshire, but i think the thing is, new hampshire's behaving just like it did four years ago. nothing in the past four years has changed new hampshire's essential character as this democratic-leaning bellwether. >> last question here, ten seconds. we know that the state has been inundated with tv and web ads, obviously. talk to me really quickly about the ground game for governor romney. how would you characterize the governor's ground game in new hampshire? >> you know, it's somewhat -- it compares to obama, although obama got a head start, really, in the springtime. i mean, mitt romney was very prominent up to the primary. then they turned their attention to other states. >> anne kornblut with "the washington post", dante scala, thank you so much, do appreciate your time. >> thank you. >> you're welcome. still to come, four days
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until the debate, and this guy is cramming for a really big test. also, some political observers are now asking, shouldn't this guy, shouldn't he be losing? we'll talk about it. you're watching msnbc, plax. ard from capital one, olaf's pizza palace gets the most rewards of any small business credit card! pizza!!!!! [ garth ] olaf's small business earns 2% cash back on every purchase, every day! helium delivery. put it on my spark card! [ pop! ] [ garth ] why settle for less? great businesses deserve the most rewards! awesome!!! [ male announcer ] the spark business card from capital one. choose unlimited rewards with 2% cash back or double miles on every purchase, every day! what's in your wallet?
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or double miles on every purchase, every day! well, if itmr. margin?margin. don't be modest, bob. you found a better way to pack a bowling ball. that was ups. and who called ups? you did, bob. i just asked a question. it takes a long time to pack a bowling ball. the last guy pitched more ball packers. but you... you consulted ups. you found a better way. that's logistics. that's margin.
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find out what else ups knows. i'll do that. you're on a roll. that's funny. i wasn't being funny, bob. i know. a good saturday afternoon to you. i'm craig melvin. you're watching msnbc, the place for politics. 38 days until election day. four days until the first presidential debate. but these are the numbers that are really bearing down on the gop nominee. these are mitt romney's likability numbers in six key battleground stat states. topping our political headlines, mitt romney going after president obama on foreign policy today. in his weekly podcast, romney said the president is fumbling his response to events in the middle east. >> this week, when president obama was asked about the recent disruption and chaos and violence in the middle east, he said that these were merely